This DATIS blog article, “One Essential Thing to Avoid for Effective Decision-Making “, was originally written by Donald Latumahina, Life Optimizer, in August 2014 and was reposted with permission.
Like it or not, your life is filled with decision-making. From the moment you wake up until the time you sleep, you have to make decisions.
That’s why it’s important that you improve your decision-making skills. Doing so will improve the quality of your life.
For effective decision-making, there is one thing you need to avoid: decision fatigue. What is it? This excerpt from Michael Lewis’s profile of Barack Obama explains it:
“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” he said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” He mentioned research that shows the simple act of making decisions degrades one’s ability to make further decisions… “You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.”
Decision fatigue happens when you can no longer make good decisions because you have already made too many. The fact is: your “decision space” is limited. Once you use up this space, your ability to make good decisions will drop.
Because of this, you should reserve this space as much as possible. That way, when the time comes to make an important decision, you can still think clearly and make a good one.
Here are some tips to free up your “decision space”:
The first thing you should do is eliminate what you can from your life. If you have too many responsibilities, you should remove some of them.
Apply the 80/20 principle. Figure out the few things that give you the most results, and eliminate the rest.
For what you can’t eliminate, think whether you can delegate it. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.
3. Create routines.
For what you have to do yourself, the excerpt above has good advice: routinize yourself. In the case of President Obama, he made his dressing choice a routine.
One way to apply it is by creating a morning routine. A morning routine helps you start your days right by default. It’s as if you can automatically have a great start to your day.
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